Xanax

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Xanax, the brand name of the generic drug, alprazolam, is a prescription drug that is used to provide patients with short-term relief from anxiety and help them manage their symptoms of panic attacks. Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which is a class of drugs commonly referred to as prescription sedatives, central nervous system (CNS) depressants or tranquilizers, due to their ability to produce calming effects by slowing down brain and nervous system activity.

Alprazolam is sold as tablets, extended release tablets, liquid and orally disintegrating tablets with doses that range from 0.25 to 2 milligrams. Prescription drugs like Xanax are typically only prescribed for short periods of time, as they can be habit-forming, quickly produce tolerance and increase the risk of addiction.

Xanax In The Brain

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), CNS depressants such as Xanax primarily work by increasing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that increases concentration, awareness and feelings of calmness. For this reason, CNS depressants are commonly prescribed to treat conditions such as anxiety and sleep disorders.

What Conditions Does Xanax Treat?

Xanax is approved by the FDA for the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults over the age of 18, including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Anxiety related to a depressive disorder
  • Agoraphobia (fear of public places or crowds that may contribute to panic, entrapment or embarrassment)
  • Repeated anxiety episodes

Xanax may also be prescribed for medical conditions such as essential tremor, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ringing in the ears and premenstrual syndrome.

Xanax vs. Valium

Xanax and Valium (diazepam) are both benzodiazepines that have similar effects; however, there are important distinctions between the two prescription drugs. For example, Xanax is 10 to 20 times more potent than Valium. In addition, Xanax is metabolized and takes effect more quickly than Valium. Unlike Valium, Xanax is approved for treating panic disorder and may be used to treat depression that accompanies anxiety, but its safety has not been established for children.

Short-term Effects of Xanax

Common side effects of Xanax include:

  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Feeling relaxed or calm
  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory impairment
  • Lack of coordination
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reduced sexual desire
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Respiratory depression
  • Decreased blood pressure and heart rate

People who abuse Xanax are more likely to experience negative effects of the drug. Some of the more serious effects of Xanax include impaired mental function, memory loss and respiratory depression, which can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. People who take Xanax may also experience rebound symptoms when they stop taking the drug. For example, if someone takes Xanax for anxiety, the person may actually have worse anxiety when he or she stops taking the medication.

Xanax Abuse

People who abuse Xanax may feel drowsy, lightheaded and have difficulty with balance and/or motor coordination. Xanax can also impair memory and amplify other effects, including withdrawal symptoms, overdose and death, especially when the drug is mixed with alcohol and other drugs.

People who abuse Xanax for long periods of time are more likely to experience negative effects. Some of the more serious adverse effects of Xanax abuse include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Physical dependence
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Addiction
  • Death

Withdrawal Symptoms Of Xanax

Tolerance develops quickly in those who take higher doses of Xanax than prescribed, take it without a prescription or take the drug for long time periods, which can have harmful effects and can increase the risk of physical dependence and addiction. Xanax addiction can contribute to withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to stop taking the drug. Withdrawal symptoms are usually the worst during the first couple days of detoxification and gradually become less prominent. Common withdrawal symptoms of Xanax include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia and other sleeping problems
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Seizures
  • Tremors/shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
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Xanax Addiction

People can become physically and psychologically addicted to Xanax in a short time period. Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam are dangerous to take when a person has a history of alcohol or drug dependence, as they can be habit-forming and easily lead to addiction. People who develop addiction to Xanax may compulsively use the drug, neglect their relationships with family and friends, have difficulty keeping a job and experience other negative consequences.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Xanax addiction treatment at Sovereign Health of Arizona is comprehensive and tailored to meet each woman’s needs. The clinical staff of our Xanax rehab centers are specialized in the treatment of trauma and co-occurring disorders in addition to our treatment for Xanax addiction. For more information about the Xanax rehab centers at Sovereign Health, call our 24/7 helpline at any time.

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